Friday, March 28, 2014

Stop with the lockdowns already...

When I was in school, the Big Bad Boogey-Man was Russia, and we were afraid of nuclear war.

I remember "duck and cover" drills in school, in case of nuclear attack.

Looking back, wasn't that unnecessary fear-mongering? And not just because there didn't happen to be a nuclear war. But because if there WAS a nuclear war, getting cut by flying glass because you didn't hide under your desk when the air raid sirens went off would be the least of your worries.

Today's Big Bad Boogey-Man are strangers in schools. We've had two incidents in Amherst this week where schools went into "lockdown" -- one ridiculous false alarm, and one genuine "somebody creepy and probably mentally unbalanced."

Which makes my skeptical mind wonder: is that just unnecessary fear-mongering? How many times has a school going into "lockdown" saved lives or injury? Can anybody point me to even one story of "Thank God we went into lockdown, that homicidal maniac found the doors locked and just gave up!"

Kids are much safer in school than any other place, despite the high-profile, tragic, terrible incidents that happen somewhere in the world once or twice a year. Kids in US schools are much safer overall than they have ever been.

And it's not because we're locking down our schools; adults in the US are much safer from violence than they've ever been.

I also remember learning to sing about how we're supposed to be living in "the land of the free, and the home of the brave." Locking our kids in their classrooms because we're so afraid of strangers in our schools is teaching them exactly the opposite.


Simeon Pilgrim said...

Coming from a non-US country I was shocked when my kids where getting lock-down practice in middle school. But I can understand, because after anything goes wrong, the witch hunt is insane.

So many people want someone else to be responsible, as compered to accepting bad-stuff happens.

Unknown said...

Kids are much safer in school than anywhere else? Would you like to rethink that and restate...maybe site proof of work? ;)

Dennis said...

Schools are toxic censored repressive propaganda-filled places. I would hardly call them safe places. They're the perfect breeding ground for violent outbursts.

Larry Kelley said...

I think the order of the incidents had something to do with it.

The first one, where the guy on parole asked a child for a urine sample, was indeed creepy -- hence the lockdown justified.

The second one, not so much. But everybody was still a tad on edge over the first incident.

Gavin Andresen said...

"Toward the end of the school day today, two adults entered the high school building for appropriate business and signed in. Later, they signed out of the building but were seen re-entering without signing in again. When they could not be located immediately, the school was placed in lockdown and the police were contacted."

Am I crazy thinking that "signing in" is not some magical fairy dust that makes it impossible for people to Do Something Bad?

What happens the first time somebody, somewhere, signs in and then Does Something Bad?

Jeff said...

It's crazy. In order to get into a school, I need to buzz the office. They've blocked all entrances, but one, and put kids on buses to close neighborhood schools and allow children to "get to school safe". Meanwhile, the car remains the number one killer of children aged 4-14 (National Transportation Safety Board). Our attention always seems to focus on the wrong things ...